New Delhi: In its bid to promote transportation through waterways, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) has prepared draft “guidelines for operation of Ro-Ro (Roll-on, Roll-off) and Ro-Pax ferry service along the coast of India” after incorporating the preliminary inputs received from the stakeholders.
The guidelines encompass the two aspects of ferry operation namely; concessions for terminal operation and license for operation of Ro-Pax vessels. The stakeholders have been asked to give their feedbacks and suggestions to the draft guidelines on the project under set proforma to the Ministry within 21 days.
The Ministry has already embarked on developing an ecosystem for promotion of Ro-Ro ferry and waterway transportation in the country under its Sagarmala programme. This mode of transportation has multiple benefits including reduced travel time, reduced logistics cost and lower pollution in comparison to conventional mode of transportation.
The Ministry is offering financial support to as many as 45 projects with cost involving of ₹1900 Crore under Sagarmala programme. It has operationalized Ro-Pax Ferry service between Ghogha – Hazira in Gujarat and Mumbai – Mandwa in Maharashtra. More than seven lakh lakh passenger and 1.5 lakh vehicles have been transported through ferry service.
Officials said that the Ministry have planned launching similar ferry projects at Pipavav and Muldwarka in Gujarat and Ghodbunder, Veldur, Vasai, Kashid, Rewas, Manori and JN Port etc. in Maharashtra in keeping with the success of these earlier projects and growing demand for the same in other coastal areas. In addition to this, the Ministry is supporting four projects in Andhra Pradesh, two in Odisha and one each in Tamil Nadu and Goa.
About the draft guidelines, the officials said that they intend to homogenize and streamline the development and operations of ferry services, along with, promoting ease of doing business by eliminating unnecessary delays, disagreements and introducing digital interventions at customer interface. The proposed draft aims to instil confidence among the private players in such services.